The Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is the world’s only sanctuary dedicated exclusively to the rescue and rehabilitation of Sun Bears. It was founded in 2008 by the foremost Sun Bear expert Dr. Wong Siew Te, who wanted to highlight the plight of these animals and provide care and rehabilitation for rescued Sun Bears. These little-known bears ( Helarctus Malayanus) were once widespread throughout Asia, but their numbers have dwindled due to deforestation, commercial hunting and the pet trade. From their beginning with one rescued bear cub called ‘ Si Kecil’ , there are now about 36 bears homed at BSBCC. They have often lived in appalling conditions in captivity, and need to be introduced gradually into their natural habitat. It is a long process to teach them the necessary skills for survival in the wild, and the potential release candidates have to be carefully selected and coached.
The conservation work at the centre is caried out by volunteers working alongside biologists and researchers. Their activities include animal husbandry to maintain health and the cleanliness of the centre, and enrichment to stimulate the bears and improve their living conditions. There is also a regular need to help with construction of new exhibits and extensions, as the facilities are still expanding. Finally, there is an educational programme to teach volunteers, visitors and local schools about the Sun Bears and their conservation.
Your contribution of RM 300 will go towards cost of the Bear Enrichment programme, which will be explained and showcased during a special 2 hour presentation included in your visit. Apart from this special insight , you will spend a day at the centre observing the bears in their forest of diverse tropical tree species and discovering their amazing climbing and foraging skills.
For your contribution of RM 600, you will receive a VIP introduction to Sun Bear conservation by Dr. Wong himself. He conducted the first ecological field research of Sun Bears in the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo in 1998. Since then, he not only founded the conservation centre, but has actively collaborated with many research partners such as University of Nottingham, Oregon State University, San Diego Zoo and the Sabah Wildlife Department.
Your contribution of RM 1,000 will allow you to particpate as a member of the conservation team for one month. You will be enrolled in the volunteer programme, which means that accomodation is provided, plus meals on working days and daily transport.